Sunday, 19 April 2015

Book recommendation: “Someone Else’s Conflict” by Alison Layland

If you like to lose yourself in a really good book, I highly recommend the thriller “Someone Else’s Conflict”. It was written by fellow ITI German network member Alison Layland, who I met at a workshop in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not into reading novels in general (I prefer newspapers and non-fiction books), but I admit I found myself completely absorbed in this thriller while on holiday in Germany over Easter. “Someone Else’s Conflict” is an engagingly written, skilfully composed novel and a real page-turner!

Engagingly written and a real page-turner!
The following review by Ros Mendy appeared in the March 2015 edition of the ITI German network’s newsletter:

Someone Else’s Conflict is a new novel by fellow GerNet member Alison Layland.

The story switches between past and present – between the Balkans of the 1990s, torn apart by the Croatian War of Independence, and the Yorkshire Dales, where the biggest problems are the weather and poor mobile phone coverage. The main character, Jay, is an itinerant storyteller with multiple identities who is haunted by the ghosts of Yugoslavia. Marilyn is a local artist, newly single and keen to assert her independence. The arrival of a third character – an illegal teenage immigrant called Vinko – is the catalyst that brings the echoes of the Yugoslav conflicts to the Yorkshire Dales. As Jay’s past catches up with him, his blossoming relationship with Marilyn is put to the test and they find themselves caught up in a dark, scary world of murder and revenge.

The book is described as a “gripping crime debut” and a “fast-paced thriller”. It does have plenty of mystery and suspense and builds up to a fast-paced finish, but it is far more than a thriller. Someone Else’s Conflict is an intelligent, character-driven novel that deals with language and identity, belonging, immigration, trust, guilt, the search for love and the lasting effects of war. The characters are believable and engaging, the descriptions evocative and the dialogue realistic. I particularly enjoyed the storytelling aspects, and even learned the origin of the word “cravat”.

Someone Else’s Conflict was picked as the January 2015 debut of the month on

(reproduced with kind permission by Ros Mendy)

Visit Alison Layland’s website here or follow her on Twitter @AlisonLayland.

As a minimalist, I enjoyed reading “Some Else's Conflict” as an e-book, but it is also available in paperback.